Disney Infinity (3DS) Review
It’s common practice for game publishers to secretly release a handheld version of a big multi-platform game and have it escape the eyes of the media and consumers. When this happens, you know there’s something fishy going on and the rules haven’t changed here for Disney Infinity.
Disney Infinity on the Nintendo 3DS shares very little with its bigger brothers on home consoles. The pedestal to load your characters and power discs into the game is there but there’s no Play Sets, nor no Toy Box at all.
Instead Disney Infinity on the 3DS is what could be best described as a competent Mario Party clone with mostly below-average mini games in between.
So how can a game be competent, but also below average? The game boards where you play on top look great and themed on various different Disney properties. There’s the University from Monsters University, the world from Cars, Pirates of the Caribbean and a cool Wreck it Ralph board. While the game boards look great and alive, the mini games contained within are the exact opposite, more on them soon.
Unlike the console version instead of the pedestal being connected to the game at all times, you scan in three characters at any one time. You can augment these characters with power discs for more power or speed, depending on the disc. Each character has its own characteristics and they include Sully, Jack Sparrow and Mr Incredible which gives you a balanced team. Discs that don’t give powers can be used to unlock toys in the game which can be used in mini games to give your characters a helping hand, other discs as well unlock die but they don’t really do anything. You don’t even need to buy anything extra to unlock most of the content in the game, as you play through it you’ll collect coins which can be spent in the game store.
The mini games in Disney Infinity, like any party game form the main reason why you will play. Waiting five minutes for your younger cousins to figure out they have to press the A button to continue as you fall asleep isn’t what you signed up for with party games. Here in Infinity unless you’re playing with another person (something we couldn’t test), the AI will take over your other three opponents. To say the mini games are easy is an exaggeration, in one board you take on the Krakken from Pirates of the Caribbean, I played half way through the length of the mini game only to leave the game for the second half and I still won. Other mini games require you to collect parts that appear around a stage, these levels are easy if you have the right character and will be over in mere minutes. Some of the games I really wouldn’t want to play again and lots of them are borrowed from popular iOS games.
The game itself is presented pretty well for 3DS, all the characters and board games look great and are detailed. When the action heats up in mini games there is some slowdown as the system struggles to handle everything going on at once. Outside of the board and the mini games is where the game comes a little undone. The games menu, loading screens and introduction vary in quality, some of them have 3D, some don’t. You will frequently see loading screens too as the game switches between screens and in and out of mini games. The game’s soundtrack too is disappointing with unforgettable tunes, the good voice acting is a welcome addition but is repeated often.
Disney Infinity on the 3DS isn’t a terrible game, it’s sometimes fun to play and going down the party game route is a good idea, it’s just executed poorly. The portable versions of Skylanders though have proven it is possible to have an adventure game with toys on the go. Like the console versions there’s also the problem of cost, the game is expensive and you have to buy the Starter Pack, you can’t share anything from the console versions. The price of admission isn’t cheap and you’re not getting anything like the console version offers for the same price.
Disney Infinity on the 3DS is like your parents telling you that you’re going to Disneyland but you’re actually going to the dentist.